Former Nama adviser Cushnahan drops BBC court case

Frank Cushnahan was an adviser to Nama between 2010 and 2013
Frank Cushnahan was an adviser to Nama between 2010 and 2013

A former banker at the centre of controversy surrounding the £1bn sale of a Northern Ireland property loans portfolio has ended his High Court action against the BBC.

Judgment was entered for the broadcaster in the lawsuit brought against it by ex-National Assets Management Agency (Nama) adviser Frank Cushnahan.

Mr Cushnahan sued over the contents of two BBC Spotlight programmes into his alleged involvement in the Nama loan book sale process.

The outcome can be disclosed after a judge lifted reporting restrictions and an anonymity order imposed by the court.

In a statement Mr Cushnahan’s lawyers acknowledged his unsuccessful action against the BBC and Spotlight editor Jeremy Adams was being discontinued.

They now plan to take the UK government to the European Court of Human Rights for allegedly breaching its Article 6 obligations to ensure a right to a fair trial.

Nama, the Irish Republic’s so-called “bad bank”, took control of the portfolio after the 2008 property crash.

The Spotlight programmes probed circumstances surrounding a £1bn deal for the sale of the loan book – given the name Project Eagle – six years later.

They also examined any role played by Mr Cushahan and others in advising Nama.

The businessman, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing, served on a Nama advice committee dealing with Northern Ireland issues from 2010 to 2013.

Earlier this year he failed to secure an injunction to stop any further Spotlight reports on his role.

At that stage a judge held that there was a clear public interest in publication.

Mr Cushnahan’s legal action against the BBC and Mr Adams, involving claims of a breach to his Article 6 rights, were finally dropped on Wednesday.

Following the outcome the broadcaster said it has not apologised, paid damages or any of Mr Cushnahan’s legal fees.

Mr Cushnahan’s legal representatives claimed he has been the victim of “a sustained attack on his character by many media outlets over the last number of months”.